We started with eight teams and now we’re down to four. The division semifinal round concluded on Tuesday night with a pair of upsets. While the No. 1 seeds from the East and West both advanced, both No. 2 seeds – Albany and Geneva – were eliminated by their third-seeded opponents.
Wednesday night marks the beginning of the East and West Division Championship Series. In the East, the top-seeded Amsterdam Mohawks will host the No. 3 Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs at Shuttleworth Park, beginning at 6:35 p.m. In the West, the No. 1 Jamestown Jammers will welcome the No. 3 Elmira Pioneers to Diethrick Park for a 7:05 p.m. bout.
Here’s a look at the entire schedule for the best-of-three Division Championship Series:
East Division Championship Series
August 2: Mohawk Valley at Amsterdam – 6:35 p.m.
August 3: Amsterdam at Mohawk Valley – 6:35 p.m.
August 4: Mohawk Valley at Amsterdam – 6:35 p.m. (if necessary)
West Division Championship Series
August 2: Elmira at Jamestown – 7:05 p.m.
August 3: Jamestown at Elmira – 7:05 p.m.
August 4: Elmira at Jamestown – 7:05 p.m. (if necessary)
As a reminder, fans can follow along with live stats for every playoff game via Pointstreak.
How They Got There
Amsterdam Mohawks | East Division No. 1 | 36-12 (regular season record)
The top-seeded Mohawks doubled-up the No. 4 Saugerties Stallions at Shuttleworth Park in the first round of the postseason. Tied at 1-1, Amsterdam scored twice in the bottom of the fourth to pull ahead by two. Dustin Skelton (Mississippi State), who doubled home a run in the fourth, added to his impressive night with another RBI double in the sixth to increase Amsterdam’s advantage to 4-1. A two-run Luke Pettersen (Minnesota) single in the top of the seventh had the Stallions eyeing a comeback, but extra-base hits from Eric Rivera (Florida Atlantic) and Dan Maynard (Maryland) in the eighth allowed the Mohawks to regain their three-run cushion. Joe LaSorsa (St. John’s) earned the win on the mound, as he allowed three runs on six hits and struck out six.
Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs | East Division No. 3 | 29-18
The host Dutchmen broke a 1-1 stalemate in the bottom of the sixth on RBI singles from Justin Childers (Ohio Dominican) and Brandt Holland (North Alabama), giving No. 2 Albany a 3-1 advantage. However, the DiamondDawgs roared from behind on a three-run bases clearing triple to leapfrog the Dutchmen and take a 4-3 lead. All-Star closer Zach Vennaro (Mount Olive) was then called from the bullpen to the eighth and ninth and hurled 2.0 shutout innings to close the contest. Olive finished 1-for-3 with three RBIs and two walks, while Alexis Monge-Rodriguez (Barry) was 2-for-5 with one RBI and one run scored in the lead-off spot for the ‘Dawgs.
Jamestown Jammers | West Division No. 1 | 34-15
It was a thriller at Diethrick Park on Tuesday night, as the No. 4 Onondaga Flames traveled to Jamestown to face the West Division’s No. 1 seed. The Flames scored the game’s first two runs, beginning with an RBI double from Sam Little (Ithaca) in the top of the first. In the top of the fourth, Little scored on an Alex Canty (Monroe C.C.). The Jammers tied the game in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI groundout and a Ben Brookover (UTSA) run-scoring base hit. From there, neither team scored again until the bottom of the 11th inning, when Jamestown’s Matt Cross (Niagara County C.C.) led off with a single, moved to second on a sac bunt and scored on a base hit off the bat of John Conti (Canisius). Isaac Meza (CSU Bakersfield) tossed 4.0 scoreless innings out of the bullpen to earn the victory.
Elmira Pioneers | West Division No. 3 | 27-23
The Pioneers, who were beaten by the Red Wings the night before for the right to host the division semifinals at McDonough Park, avenged that loss and handed the G-Wings a 12-2 defeat. Elmira belted out the 12 runs in 15 hits, including three home runs from Troy Dixon (Samford), Ayrton Schafer (Samford) and 2017 Home Run Derby champ Conor Grammes (Xavier). Schafer, this week’s PGCBL Player of the Week honoree, was 3-for-5 with the homer and two doubles. Dixon and Grammes were both tied with the game high with three RBIs. On the mound, Houston Roth (Ole Miss) fanned 11 in 5.0 innings of work to earn the win.